Friday, March 22, 2013

Recipe Friday: Macaroni and Cheese

In honor of Uncle Rob's birthday today I'm giving you the dish that I''m going to bring to his "comfort food" themed birthday party tomorrow.  (Ever since Steve's Surprise Pony Party we've done themes.  One year we made tee shirts.  And people wonder why I love my in-laws!)  This recipe is from The Bride and Groom First and Forever Cookbook by Mary Corpening Barber and Sara Corpening Whiteford.  This is the cookbook that I got as a wedding shower gift and it taught me how to cook.  It's my go-to wedding gift for every wedding we to to now. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A New Kind of Lawn Care

I think I tweeted this, but I wanted to elaborate on it so here's the post.  Earth Eats tweeted an article from about lawns in America.  The tweet said, "There is an estimated 50,000 square miles of lawns in U.S. Think of all the gardens that could be!"  So I clicked on the link and read the article. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Stone Cottage Farm and Garden

I was researching chickens all weekend.  I'll probably never actually GET any because I'll never be done reading about what I should and shouldn't do.  ANYWAY, I stumbled across this site in my chicken research.  It's Stone Cottage Farm and Garden and it just sounded so quaint I couldn't wait to share it on my blog. They have bees, chickens, orchards, maple syrup, nuts and berries, gardens, ponds--it seems to be an old fashioned homestead.  I've been reading and thinking about urban homesteading a lot lately (I REALLY would like to keep bees since I LOVE bees, but Ellie is terrified and I could see that attracting bees to my yard *might* irritate the neighbors) and so this place greatly appealed to me.  Ready for the piece de resistance?!?

They have classes!!!!!  On what you ask?  Well, raising chickens for one!  Raised bed sustainable and organic gardening, urban homesteading day and preserving foods are all courses offered.  They are offered at different locations as well, if Cuyahoga Falls isn't convenient for you.  Here's the schedule.

They also have a shop for small farm and gardening supplies.  I'm so excited!  I've been trying to check this out between loads of laundry from puking kids. Sorry it's a short entry and a day late!  I'm doing the best I my blog summary says!

Vince--BEFORE he puked on the couch!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Recipe Friday: Maple "Baked" Custard

I thought that I should be stock-piling recipes using eggs for when I get my chickens!  This recipe comes from Dr Weil, but I couldn't find it on his website anymore.  I've had it for about 10 years and it's a nice dessert to make without a ton of sugar.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

It's Time to Start My Garden!

The time has finally come!  I've been looking forward to this since last fall--planing time!  It's still too cold and early to put anything in the ground, but according to SproutRobot, it's time to start sprouting some seeds indoors.  Leeks, broccoli, tomatoes and bell peppers are on the list for this week.  Next week is eggplant.  I'm so excited!   I've been getting organic seeds at Target and Wal-Mart and I'm all ready to get started. This will be the first year that I've sprouted seeds indoors before. I got a seed greenhouse from Target and I'm going to have the kids help me plant. My major concern was that I didn't have room to put something like that where it would get full sun. Then I realized that if I involve the kids, I can put it on the train table. I think they'll really like having it down on their level, where they can keep a close eye on the sprouts. It will also be a good way to get them more involved in the planting process, making the seeds "theirs". 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Amber necklace

Awhile ago I found amber necklaces for babies in a natural catalog I get.  I thought it was a pretty cool idea, but at the time I didn't have a baby.  When Oliva was born, I knew exactly what I was going to get her for Christmas!  Amber is said to have healing properties.  These baby necklaces are supposed to help with teething pain.  I wanted to give you a little blurb from the web about amber, but what I could find seemed WAY out there (I just have a hard time buying into something that talks about it's "magical" powers.)  I did find this short little snip on a baltic amber website.
"Amber is as old as time itself, dating back millions of years. And yet, it is still believed in today and used for its magnificent healing power for treating joint pain, arthritic ailments, and even teething pain for children. Baltic amber is also used in the cosmetics industry and in other fields as well."

Monday, March 11, 2013

I'm a horrible mother!!

I took Abby to the vet to have some tests run because she's getting old and losing a ton of weight. I had a ton of laundry to catch up on from the weekend and I had to make baby food, clean the house, pick up my NEW IPHONE and get the boys hair cut. I had a busy day so when Caden took off his coat and I saw that he had a Happy Birthday ribbon pined to his shirt my stomach dropped. I totally forgot to send a birthday snack with him today to share with his class!!! Yesterday he turned 8 and we had a party for his friends yesterday, a family party Saturday, and took him out to dinner at Outback last night for a special dinner. The whole weekend was Caden so when it was over I pu it out of my mind. So instead of making a special treat for him to take to school tomorrow I'm going to have to just grab something from the store. I FEEL HORRIBLE!!! (This is from Monday). I'm super behind in blogging too!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Recipe Friday: Quick Asian Noodles

This recipe is from my favorite cookbook- The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook by Cathe Olson.  I made it the a few weeks ago for dinner, for me, and the two middle kids started stealing from my plate so I made it again this week, with some to share.  It's not a quick as the title suggests, but it's still speedy as far as dinner prep goes.  It's nice and light, which makes it good for lunch and it's fast and easy to reheat for leftovers (unless you have two other little people eating your dinner, then there aren't too many leftovers.)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Llama Llama Thank You Mama!

Trekker Sock

I love llamas.  I'm not sure why, but I've been a fan for a long time.  I'm aware that llamas and alpacas are not the same thing, but the appeal of the llama transfers to the alpaca-in my opinion.  So when my mom bought me a pair of llama (alpaca) socks, I was super excited!  My feet are always cold and she had heard that alpaca fur was warm and soft so even though the socks were more than I would spend on a pair of socks (even on some shoes) she got them for me as a little indulgance.  And they are AWESOME!  They're not only super warm, they're the softest things my feet have ever felt---that includes the inside of my Uggs, which were the previous softest-ever-title holders.  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


My mom was shopping at Hartville Collectables again, getting some Lily Pad lids for my brother in law for his birthday, and she picked up an e-cloth for me.  I have seen these products before at the Raisin Rack, but never really took the time to check them out.  I LOVE IT!  I've used to to dust (amazing!) and clean (fast and easy!). Of course I love that you it's reusable and you don't need any chemical cleaners. There are a whole bunch of different e-cloth products, include a glass cloth, stainless steel cloth, kitchen cloth, mop, duisting wand, bathroom cloth, cleaning sponges and auto products.
Here's the basic info from the website for the General Purpose Cloth (the one I have.)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Still Thinking about Chickens

I told you last time I blogged about getting chickens that I probably wouldn't do it, I just needed to think about it for awhile until the idea had run it's course.  I'm still thinking about it.  My mother in law called last night to congratulate Ellie on being Student Of the Month for February (yeah Ellie!) and asked me if I had seen the chicken coops in Williams-Sonoma.  I had not.  The fact that Williams-Sonoma is selling chicken coops is amazing to me.  I'm not totally out there!  This is actually a big thing that people are doing!  I went to the website to check out the coops. (side note, this whole time Vince has been thinking I've been saying chicken poops.  My mom asked him if he wanted chickens and he said, "Chickens poop."  They do, but while watching the following YouTube videos, he continually confused the word coop for poop.  Maybe this is a sign.  Or he's just a boy that thinks poop is the funniest thing in the world.) They're really pretty, not horrifically expensive and I was surprised to see that they're made (somewhat) locally.  Even if you're not thinking about getting chickens, these clips are an interesting look into how "back to basics" we are becoming.  (OK, I consent, we're still a LONG way from the days when everyone had backyard chickens.)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Haymaker Farmer's Market

I did it!  After an entire year of SAYING I was going to go to the Winter Farmer's Market in Kent, I actually made it!  I wasn't disappointed!  Easily better than the Canton Farmers Market, even in the summer (which I have to say I haven't been to in 2 years.)  I only took $40 with me so I didn't spend a ton, and I came home with only a few ones, but a bag full of food!  It's a small market (it's indoors) but I felt like every booth was a real contribution to the market.  There were only a few booths selling homemade goods, which I know some people like, but I'm there to get some fresh, local produce, not just novelty-kind of food.  I took all the kids and my mom (by taking her with me I wasn't able to bail at the last minute because I didn't feel like getting up and out the door at 9:15 on a Saturday).  The little kids liked it, Caden sat on the couch and played with his "phone" the entire time, my mom plans to go back and I'm really excited to see if everything tastes as good as it looks.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Recipe Friday: Baked Ginger-Orange Tofu

I love this recipe!  My mom used to make Chicken and Orange Biscuits when I was a kid and I LOVED it.  Now, I've adapted the original recipe (which called for 1/2 C of butter) to adapt to this one.  I bake the tofu in one dish with the chicken and biscuits (cresents) in another.  I just double the sauce recipe for this one and pour it ove the chicken as it bakes, then add the cresecnts for the last 15 minutes of baking.  It's an easy way to make a vegetarian and meat meal in one.  This recipe comes from The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook by Cathe Olson.  I've changed it a little to fit my own tastes.